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Apple Special Event - September 12, 2017 by Ms. H

Introduction:  Apple held its special event at the newly opened Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, CA  with Tim Cook, the CEO officiating.  The event was broadcast live on Apple.com as well as numerous other tech/phone/internet sites.  It was held at 10:00 a.m. PDT, 1:00 p.m EDT, Tuesday, September 12, 2017.  Here are highlights from the event when I watched it live at Apple.com.

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Opening Remarks by Tim Cook

Tim Cook honored Steve Jobs as a large picture of the visionary displayed behind him on stage.  He mentioned that thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of hurricane Irma in Florida as well hurricane Harvey in Houston. He said the event is being held in Steve Jobs Theater that opened today.  The venue, among other things, offers an open environment for teams and consist of 175 acres with over 9,000 trees, and is powered by 100% renewable energy.  The theater also houses a visitor center which will be open to everyone later this year. The area is called Apple Park. He stated that Apple is more than just retail, but is about connecting with people.  Before discussing the new products, he introduced Angela who provided an update on Apple retail.

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Apple Retail

Angela stated the same team that designed Apple Park also designed the theater.  Changes include the retail establishments are called Town Stores.  The Genius Bars have also been redesigned.  The whole venue is called “Today at Apple” where photography, music, gaming and app development are featured. A video was shown of Today at Apple.

What’s next includes more store openings with some to be located in Paris as well as Italy.  An Apple Store will be reopening in the New York Plaza and there will be a restoration of the Carnegie Library at the nation’s capital. There will also be a new flagship Apple Michigan Avenue store opening October 20, 2017 in Chicago.

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Apple Watch

After introduction by Tim Cook, Apple associate, Jeff discussed the apple watch which has grown from 50% of the market last year to being the  number 1 watch in the world with 97% customer satisfaction.  While a video showed various people reading a Dear Apple letter detailing how they benefited from the apple watch, the camera panned to the audience and revealed Steve Wozniak. Note: During the event, Steve Wozniak was not publicly acknowledged.

Jeff discussed the features of the apple watch including the heart rate sensor.  You can check your heart rate as well as your recovery heart rate with the apple watch simply by raising your wrist.  The watch can sense when your heart rate goes up and you do not appear to be active. He mentioned an atrial fibrillator apple heart study which will use data from apple watches.  Apple is working with Stanford as well as the FDA on this feature.  The new Apple watch series 3 will be available September 19, 2017.

More advances with the Apple watch include having celluar built in;  a map; music you can listen to and stream over 40 million songs. The apple watch will also have bluetooth and WiFi including apps for developers as well as skiers and snowboarders. Jeff stated the biggest challenge was to add cellular to the apple watch; however, it was done without increasing the size of the watch. That being said, the backside of the watch was extended about the size of two sheets of paper. A demonstration of the watch was done with Jeff calling Deidre who said she was busy at work when she was actually standing leisurely on what looked like a surfboard in the ocean.  The unique aspect of this was the omission of noises while they talked to each other using the apple watch which Jeff described as being “magical.” He discussed the different styles of watch bands including the new ceramic gray band that will be available. He also covered the countries where the apple watch is available.  The new apple watch will be introduced September 22, 2017.

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Apple TV and Sky Video Game

Following an introduction by Tim Cook, an apple associate, Eddy mentioned Apple TV won two emmys, both involving Siri.  He chronicled the evolution of television on up to 4K, stating that Apple TV will be 4k in addition to being HD. He showed a video of the Spiderman: Homecoming movie on the Apple TV with 4K HDR technology. He stated the TV was faster due to a fusion chip. Apple worked with the studios for videos to be 4K HDR in itunes as well.  Other video venues mention were Netflix as well as Amazon Prime video. He mentioned that live updates can be seen while watching sports events realtime using the Apple TV app. This ability is available on the iPhones and the ipads as well.

There was a demonstration of a video game called Sky which is played with up to 8 players with the goal to bring light where it is needed the most.  The game was used to illustrate the video quality of the Apple TV in 4K. The video game, Sky, will be available for play on Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad this winter.

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iPhone 8 and iPhone 8S

Tim Cook praised the evolution of the iPhone indicating at no time has anyone placed so much power into people's’ hands. He discussed the iPhone beginning with the multitouch feature to what is available currently. Tim Cook stated the iPhone 8 was a huge step forward before introducing Phil to the stage.

Phil discussed the features of the iPhone 8 including the glass back and front and the availability of the iPhones in silver, gray and gold. He talked about the screen sizes and stated the iPhones will be made of custom aluminum and will have a new retina display. The new stereo speakers will be louder and the iPhone will be using a brand new powerful chip called the A11 Bionic. The iPhones will also have new generation processors and new pixel processing for sharpness. There will be two new sensor camera that will show detail, texture and depth.  The portrait mode of the camera was introduced last year; however, the portrait lighting mode is new this year -- which are not filters. These iPhones will also have the highest video capture capability ever. The cameras will be best used to experience Augmented Reality or AR. He showed a demonstration of the game War Hammer to show some of the features. In addition to seeing real time information during a sports game, you can also see details of the sky for by using the Sky app.

A representative from Directive Games demonstrated playing a video game illustrating the AR capability. He stated you can experience gaming in a new way like you are actually in the video game.If you moved in closer to the iPhone while playing the game, the sound became louder automatically.

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Wireless aspects were discussed which included wireless charging. This was demonstrated in a video shown by just placing the iPhone on an oblong shaped pad where the iPhone would charge -- without plugging a cord in the iPhone except for the cord that goes to the electric outlet. Third parties were mentioned such as Morphi and Belkin for making peripherals for the iPhone. The price and storage for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8S is $699 and $799 respectively with storage of 64GB and 256GB. The preorder date for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8S is  September 15, 2017 with the iPhones becoming available September 22, 2017.

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One More Thing - iPhone X

Just when you may have thought the event was over, Tim Cook took the stage and announced that there is one more thing -- the iPhone X. He described iPhone X as the future of the smart iPhone and stated that this iPhone will set the stage for technological advances for the next decade.

The iPhone X was described as all screen, where the screen uses space on the iPhone from edge to edge. There is glass on the back and the front of the iPhone X.  Additionally, the iPhone X  is water as well as dust resistant and will be available in space-gray and silver. Like the iPhone  8 and iPhone 8S, it has a super retina display with 2436 x 1125 resolution. The iPhone X will use OLED technology and will support HDR.

There will not be a home button -- just swipe up from the bottom of the screen to get to the home screen. You can also multitask by swiping up midway -- which leaves enough space for you to access or use an app at the same time.   There is a side button on the iPhone X that you press to talk to Siri.

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To unlock the iPhone X,  you will no longer have to put in a code.  The iPhone X will use face I.D. technology to recognize your face as the owner of the iPhone.  You have to set this up only once after which you simply look at the iPhone when signing in.  The phone will recognize you and unlock your iPhone automatically.  The true depth camera as well as A11 Bionic neural systems allow the iP hone to detect your face.  You must look directly at the iPhone X -- not sideways or any other direction.  If you happen to have a twin, the apple associate glazed over this possibility and made a joke out of having an evil twin.  He stated the system cannot be spoofed by a photograph.  He also said your face data is protected, everything is done on the iPhone X and your picture-data is not sent to a server. By comparison, he stated using touch i.d., there was a 1 in 50,000 chance for a mistake. By contrast, when using face i.d. technology, there is a 1 in l,000,000 chance for error.

A demonstration of animojis followed where emojiis can be individualize emojis by using your voice. Using applications such as snapchat you can also add different filters to your face while using animated emoticons.  The emoji feature is available in the messenger app on the iPhone. Interesting to note here during the live demonstration when the Apple associate tried to demonstrate automatically swiping up to show the home pad, the telephone number display showed up instead.  However, he quickly swiped down, swiped up again and the home screen appeared. He stated the iPhone X has a battery life 2 hours more than the iPhone 7. Prior to ending this presentation, a recap of the iPhone X features were provided.  The price of the iPhone X which will have 64GB or 256 GB will be $999.  Pre-orders for the iPhone X will start October 27, 2017 with shipping to start November 3, 2017.

Wrap-up

Tim Cook closed the event by quoting a saying regarding starting where the puck is going to be -- not where it has been. He recapped all of the new products that were presented at the event ending with the iPhone X which he said is the future of the smart phone.  After asking the Apple associates in the audience to stand, Tim Cook’s ending remarks indicated that Steve Jobs would be proud.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mW6hFttt_KE

Birth of the Dragon: A Ms. H Movie Review

Disclaimer:  The views expressed here are mine alone and do not reflect those of allgames.com.

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Introduction to Birth of the Dragon: A Ms. H Movie Review

It’s been quite awhile since a Bruce Lee movie or any type of martial arts movie for that matter has been released in mainstream theaters. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out a Bruce Lee movie was going to hit the theaters.  As expected, I was there, front and center when Birth of the Dragon opened in the movie theaters. Was Birth of the Dragon movie worth the wait?  Feel free to check out my movie review and find out.

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The Role of Legendary Bruce Lee in Birth of the Dragon

Actors are important in making movies a success as well as other factors. I did not perform any research on the actor who played Bruce Lee until after I saw the movie.  Previously, I was curious as to who would be chosen to play such a coveted role.  To make a long story short, the actor who played Bruce Lee was none other than Phillip Ng.  Like me, you may not be familiar with the actor, Phillip Ng.  Even though his acting chops could improve, I think his fighting style did Bruce Lee justice. Bottom line, I think that Philip Ng was casted well as Bruce Lee, even though his acting skills could use a little work. When I speak of acting, I’m referring to how he says his lines, dialogue etc., versus the fight scenes. In my opinion, Philip Ng’s fight scenes were on point.

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Actors in Birth of the Dragon

There were no well-known actors in the movie Birth of the Dragon. However, a plus was the movie stayed true to form by having mostly Chinese/Asian actors playing parts in Birth of the Dragon. The main gist of this movie was the match-up between Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man.  A distraction was the actor, Billy Magnussen, who was the go-between for Bruce Lee’s character and that of Wong Jack Man.  Unfortunately, during Billy Magnussen’s time on screen, the movie seemed to drag on and lacked the excitement that Bruce Lee’s movies are known for. To give you a visual picture, Billy Magnussen's role was like a pesky fly or mosquito that no matter how many times you swatted it away, it always returned.   

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Additionally, if you see Birth of the Dragon, I suggest you overlook the silly premise of a fight being arranged between Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man to free girls from some sort of servitude.  I guess the movie needed a storyline, so it went with the old tried and maybe true formula of  men rescuing  women. So just sit through this until the good parts happen -- which to my disappintment showed up toward the end of the movie. Regardless, there are plenty well-choreographed fights, jumps and fast action moves that will keep your interest.

Philip Ng Screen Time  in Birth of the Dragon

I really expected Phillip Ng as Bruce Lee to have more scenes in the movie than he did.  Unfortunately, Billy Magnussen as mentioned above took most of the screen time away from the actor who was portraying Bruce Lee.I think the director went over-board regarding the inordinate amount of screen time Billy Magnussen got as opposed to Phillip Ng.

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Realism of Birth of the Dragon

Despite some of the substandard acting, Birth of a Dragon for the most part showed a degree of realism. Spoiler Alert: I’m not sure if anyone was privy to what actually happened during the fight between Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man in real life, but I think it was unrealistic for the fighter to withhold what would have been a punishing blow to his opponent -- and then declare his opponent the winner.  This is exactly what happened in Birth of the Dragon.  There is a scene where Wong Jack Man has Bruce Lee in a headlock, but instead of throwing a punch, he merely pushes Bruce Lee away -- then the fighting continues as if the headlock had never taken place.  In reality, the moment Bruce Lee was defenseless would have been the time to announce his opponent the winner.  Of course, this story has movie magic and barring the headlock, it would appear that there was a tie -- meaning there was no clear winner of the match.

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Assessment of Birth of the Dragon

Despite some of the not-so-positive comments I made above, I found Birth of a Dragon to be entertaining. Of course there were parts that were predictable, such as who would be declared the winner of the fight --  but overall, I think the movie was not boring in the least.  As mentioned previously, there were some slow parts in the movie, but there was also clever banter from the character who played Bruce Lee that lightened up the story.  

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That being said, there were parts of the movie that could have displayed details further for dramatic effect in certain situations.  On a positive note, I liked that Birth of the Dragon was not overly violent and bloody.  In fact, I think some of the action scenes may have been toned down, compared to some older martial arts movies I’ve seen.  However, bar none, two of my favorite scenes were the match between Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man as well as when they teamed up to fight against their enemies.  Regarding the question of whether this movie was worth the wait, I would say yes but I think Birth of the Dragon could have been a whole lot better if the entire movie was focused on the fighting match without all the other peripheral scenes.

Rating of Birth of the Dragon

Based on a rating of 1 star to 5 stars with 5 stars being the best, I ratee Birth of the Dragon 3 stars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIGqN3Jz2zc 

 

Hitman's Bodyguard: A Ms. H Movie Review

Disclaimer:  The views expressed here are mine alone and do not represent those of allgames.com.

Introduction to Hitman's Bodyguard: A Ms. H Movie Review

Hitman's Bodyguard is rated R so you must be 17 years or older to see this movie.  With Samuel L. Jackson starring in Hitman's Bodyguard, you can also expect a lot of profanity.  If you are not a fan of the language be ready to close your ears so you can sit through it without having the urge to get up and leave. You may think this movie will get a low rating from me; however, my review of Hitman's Bodyguard might surprise you.

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Hitman's Bodyguard - A Throwback to 1990’s Action Movies?

As I watched the dramatic actions unfold on the big screen, I could not help but compare Hitman's Bodyguard to some of the other buddy action movies I’ve seen in the past.  There was the wise-cracking jokes from Ryan Reynolds as well as Samuel L. Jackson along with all the usual car crashes and explosions.   Even though Hitman's Bodyguard had a 1990’s flair to me, this was not a problem since I enjoy watching these type movies, minor the language.  There is also  enough car racing, crashes, chases, explosions and other type actions to keep your interest should you decide to see Hitman's Bodyguard.

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Skilled Actors in Hitman's Bodyguard

The acting skills were up to par for some of the actors in Hitman's Bodyguard.  Most of the actors, such as Samuel L. Jackson, Ryan Reynolds and Salma Hayek are seasoned in their craft, so acting was not an issue for them. However, I was not impressed with Elodie Yung’s acting.  She played the estranged girlfriend of Ryan Reynolds as well as agent in the movie. For most of the movie, she looked as if she needed more sleep and she was not, in my opinion, as believable in her role as the other actors.  However, her unskilled acting did not negatively affect my rating for Hitman's Bodyguard since she was not prominently featured in the movie.

There were some humorous parts in this movie as well.  Spoiler Alert:  When the movie started, Ryan Reynolds tended to say his lines like he was in his Deadpool movie; however, as the movie went on, he talked more like the character he was playing.   Samuel L. Jackson played his part well; even though, I think the movie dialogue was awkward when they talked about relationships with him giving Ryan Reynolds advice.

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In my opinion, the director did a good job in directing Hitman's Bodyguard. Due to all the dangerous stunts, I’m sure body-doubles were used sometimes instead of the actual actors; however, the switchover was seamless to me.  One of my favorite scenes was when Ryan Reynolds’ character vowed to not help Samuel L. Jackson’s character anymore while standing at a food cart.  In the meantime, the director showed a lot of commotion going on behind him while he kept repeating that he would not help Samuel L. Jackson any more.  Of course, he eventually decides to help; however, I think it was creative how lots of actions were going on in the background as Ryan Reynolds initially kept insisting that he would not help Samuel L. Jackson.

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Assessment of Hitman's Bodyguard

If you like action-packed movies, I think Hitman's Bodyguard will keep your interest.  Just when you think the movie is winding down from all the foot and car chases, as well as the explosions, some other attention-grabbing actions occur.  Also, I think there is suspense due to the time element involved in their journey to get to the court in time to testify. However, once Samuel  L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds made the court deadline; one would think the movie would conclude.  But this was not the case.  Other actions happened afterwards, which may cause you to wonder why did they try to get to the court by the deadline in the first place.

I’m not rating Hitman's Bodyguard higher because it was not clear as to why a man of Samuel L. Jackson’s questionable character would somehow become friends with Ryan Reynolds who was once his arch enemy. The savings grace of Hitman's Bodyguard included the tie-in from what happened at the beginning of the movie, and the reveal of what actually occurred towards the end of the movie.  I think the writer/director artfully threw this twist in the movie.  You will know what I’m talking about if you watch Hitman's Bodyguard.

Rating of Hitman's Bodyguard

Based on a rating of 1 star to 5 stars, with 5 stars being the best, I rate Hitman's Bodyguard 3 stars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8o-vqUzaPP8

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